Friday, September 21, 2007

Why Columbia has no problem hosting a chat session with Ahmadinejad

John Podhoretz has a devastating imagined dialogue between Ahmadinejad and the president of Columbia University should the head of Iran come speak there.
B: And what about saying you are going to wipe Israel off the map?

A: What about it?

B: Well . . . that's not very nice, is it?

A: Actually, I was once very pro-Israel.

B: You were?

A: Yes, I was. Until I read the works of a Columbia professor named Edward Said.

B: Really, that is absolutely . . .

A: It was reading Said that convinced me Israel was an apartheid nation guilty of monstrous crimes and, therefore, that it should cease to exist. Well, now I am in a position to give aid to that cause. What kind of person would I be if I failed to heed the guidance provided by a respected Columbia professor?

B: Now wait a . . .

A: He was very august, wasn't he, Edward Said? I mean, you even have a professorship named after Edward Said here at Columbia. Oh, who's that I see in the front row? It's the Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies here at Columbia, Mr. Rashid Khalidi!

Khalidi: Not now, Mahmoud. I'll Skype you later.

B: I can understand your anger at Israel's treatment of the Palestinians, Mr. President, but surely 5 million Israelis shouldn't be wiped off the map.

A: Why not? After all, at your sister school, Barnard College, you are in the process of granting tenure to Nadia Abu El-Haj, who has written a book that proves there was no ancient Jewish kingdom in Israel. Her work has had a great deal of influence on me. After all, if there is no Jewish claim on the land dating back to the time before Christ, there really is no reason for Israel to be where it is, right, Bollinger?

B: I have no say over Barnard tenure decisions, Mr. President, but I must say that there are some questions about the quality of her scholarship because she does not take account of the archaeological evidence.

A: That is uncalled for. Ms. El-Haj says in her own book that she rejects your "positivist commitment to scientific method," Bollinger. She has a narrative. A narrative, Bollinger! So shut your pie hole.

B: Now about your state support of terrorism . . .

A: What is terrorism, Bollinger? I take my wisdom from another newly tenured professor here at Columbia, Mr. Joseph Massad. You remember him. He's the one who Jewish students claimed had intimidated them in his classes.

B: That was never conclusively . . .

A: Right here on this campus, he called Israel a "racist state" and then said: "Every racist state should be destroyed." I don't know why you are upset with me, Bollinger - I'm learning so much from people who are paid by your institution!
Slash.

But hey, what's the hiring of a few antisemites among intellectuals? At least Columbia is keeping out that nasty ROTC because of their disdain for the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy to keep public gays out of the military. It's not as if Ahmadinejad is the head of a regime which executes men for their chosen sexuality.

Oh, wait.

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